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Where were we when populism won? Where were we when populism won?
by Thanos Kalamidas
2022-09-17 07:34:54
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The results of the Swedish elections and the reach of the far-right populist party - the Swedish Democrats - the second place with nearly 21% establishes a painful reality, far-right populism with all its side-effects (xenophobia, homophobia, islamophobia, liberalphobia, ducationphobia and all the other phobias) is part of the international mainstream social-economic life even in the champion of democracy Scandinavia! And if we had doubts until now believing the “democracy prevails” we should have listen better when Donald Trump became president of USA.

I feel that it all started sometime in early 1970s and in the peak of the cold-war when politicians, special interests and whole nations realize that the disputed populism and all it carried with it – misinformation, manipulation, lies – worked. It was the era when populism was still connected with Nazism. In the name of the greatest good and the all mighty nuclear enemy, we felt that a bit of lie and some half-true will not harm. After all what do you want? People start asking free health coverage or free education. This is not how the democratic western good... capitalism works, this is evil Stalinism.

But then the lies didn’t limit themselves in foreign lands, they decided that there was ground inside as well. After all the external enemy had moved internal asking for more liberties, equality, rights ...things unheard in the good old-times. The good old-times; the essence of every populism and misinformation half-lie all around the world all through history. From the Peloponnesian war to the Ukrainian invasion.

It is not anymore about Stalin’s executions or a drug addicted west, it is about our life, our family, our values, us. Populism knocked on our doors full of misinformation and lies and we unveiled the red carpet. We welcomed populism and its many ways, from televised adverts to fake investments. We made populism part of our lives. And we so overestimated ourselves.

We thought that we can recognized the lie and we did exactly the same mistake the German public did back in 1933 when democratically elected Adolf Hitler as Germany’s chancellor. USA elected Donald Trump. The supreme manipulator of our times. A television celebrity born in money and grown in a twisted word just to make it work for him. We literally handed democracy to his hands to ...protect her. Americans voted for president somebody who would protect them from the Mexican ...rapists and he nearly killed democracy staging that coup.

Still we thought democracy would prevail! But the only reason Trump’s coup failed it was because of lack of organization and not because somehow magically democracy prevailed. It was even thanks to the people since most just sat on their sofa eating their pizza watching events unveiling in their 52-inch ultra flat screens in between of the “Bachelorette” and the “Hollywood wives”.

Democracy didn’t prevail while Viktor Orbán kills freedom of speech, freedom of press and justice in Hungary in the name of ...national security.  Hungary doesn’t neighbour Mexico but h invented plenty of ...Mexicans external and internal. Mateusz Morawiecki in Poland and Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan in Turkey have gone so far that they actually believe their own lies while establishing authoritarian, xenophobic, homophobic regimes and Kyriakos ‘Koulis’ Mitsotakis – perhaps the most corrupted politician in modern Greek history - has gone so far as to eavesdrop his opposition’s telephones leaving hints of ...national security dangers. And no, in his case it is not the Mexicans, it is the Russians and the ...Ukrainians.

While these are ‘leader’s’ names that just popped in my mind, there are a lot far more dangerous Trumpists this minute all around the world. From Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil to Hun Senin Cambodia, or Narendra Modi of India. It is like a liars’ wave overtaking democracy. And democracy cannot prevail because democracy is not some kind of professor Albus Dumbledore to shake a magic wag and stop evil forever!

It was up to us to do something to protect democracy and we should have started long ago, now it is dangerously late. But ...we still sit on our sofas eating our pizza; watching democracy murdered in our 52 inch ultra flat screens in between of the “Bachelorette” and the “Hollywood wives”.

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